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Venhuizen Departure Leaves Noem Cabinet 51% Dumber

If you thought the Noem Administration was short a few marbles, brace yourself for even dumber government now. A majority of the IQ points in the Noem Cabinet is bailing out:

After one year of serving as Gov. Kristi Noem’s chief of staff, Tony Venhuizen is leaving.

Noem announced today that Venhuizen will be appointed to the South Dakota Board of Regents. Venhuizen will succeed Kevin Schieffer of Sioux Falls, whose tenure on the board ended in March.

Venhuizen will leave his role with Noem’s staff later this month and his appointment will be effective then, a news release said.

…This will be Venhuizen’s second term on the board. He served on the board as a student member from 2003 to 2008 [staff, “Noem Says She Will Appoint Venhuizen to S.D. Board of Regents,” KELO-TV, 2021.04.06].

I had hoped Venhuizen’s return (albeit by commute) to Pierre would save Noem from her own worst impulses and lack of competence. But even Venhuizen’s experienced and pragmatic presence couldn’t keep Noem from getting distracted by Corey Lewandowski’s image-building and stumbling into multiple debacles during the 2021 Session that have left her politically wounded.

But at least Venhuizen will still have some input on the Regents, where maybe, just maybe, his level-headedness can help deter Republican ideologues from derailing our university system.


  1. Bob Newland 2021-04-07 12:43

    Schieffer’s departure from Regents already left that board 73% smarter.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-07 12:52

    Hmm… let’s multiply Venhuizen’s IQ improvement by the IQ improvement Bob sees in the departure of Schieffer… already more math that Team Noem can handle.

  3. Tim H. 2021-04-07 13:05

    Apparently no one is as smart as you Cory, so here is a suggestion. Why not throw your hat in the ring and run against Governor Noem?

  4. grudznick 2021-04-07 23:04

    Bob is righter than right. Mr. Schieffer, a bully of a fellow with an inflated ego and a reasonable coif, is responsible for many misdeeds.

  5. RST Tribal Member 2021-04-07 23:35

    I take the political leadership elected is a reflection of the voters; at least most of the group that voting for America’s Governor Noem. She is providing to be as dense as they come. Combining her wit with an inbred 1 party legislative body it’s a wonder the state is able to limp along as it does. Heck she cannot even veto a bill correctly or get her inbred legislators to bail her out of the hole she dug herself into, even when she tosses the whole rescue rope to them.
    Fortunately on or before November 2022 most sensible people in South Dakota will do the course correcting thing in the voting booth. But, again, they haven’t yet… dense, huh.

  6. grudznick 2021-04-07 23:54

    Wanna hear a little more about corrupt and inbred governing systems, Mr. Tribal Member? Tune in to KOYA, where they dish out the local government news with no spin, some radio garage sale information, and music that is just rocking the Ruh-ruh-ruh-rosebud! I’m just sayin…

  7. DaveFN 2021-04-08 01:12

    Do these folks bail or does Noem tell them time to go?

  8. M 2021-04-08 05:16

    Noem is following the Trump model of leadership; micro manage everything but don’t be in charge of any of it, have high turnover of personnel, and tada, no accountability, no blame to anyone, although all are guilty participants. On and on and nothing gets accomplished while the state falls apart before our very eyes.

    Don’t know if you all remember the road that washed out west river a couple years ago. A nurse from the Mobridge Regional Hospital was driving home from work after the night shift and drove right off into the Missouri. We also lost a postal driver coming home from Bismarck. It was dark and they had no idea. I know dozens of people who will never travel that road again and trust me, there are not many other options.

    That’s just one story.

    Our country, and moreover South Dakota are becoming less developed in so many areas. We’ll be a 3rd world nation within 10 years if we don’t move fast.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-08 05:41

    DaveFN, I don’t know who has initiated each departure. I doubt she told Venhuizen to leave… because his skill and dutiful support are irreplaceable. We may even be able to take Venhuizen at his word: he said he didn’t join Noem’s team for a long-term gig. He may well prefer hanging out in Sioux Falls and quietly making big bucks as a trust lawyer while maintaining his connections and influence through monthly Regents meetings.

  10. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-08 05:43

    RST, you mention the inbred one-party regime: it is interesting that, given the SDGOP’s insular nature, Noem relies so heavily on outsiders from the Beltway to do her work. The churn and outsourcing suggest that even among the SDGOP’s happy family, Noem has trouble finding people who will stick around to put up with her poor leadership.

  11. RST Tribal Member 2021-04-08 06:06

    Thanks grudznick for the heads up on tribal radio stations. Nice to know they are a source of information on South Dakota and National issues. I do recall, back in the days, when a particular Governor was going to the Rosebud Reservation to dedicate a new Headstart building and people went to the live broadcast tribal council meeting and said to have the tribal police ready to arrest him for raping a young lady back in the 60s… dang if he didn’t show up cause his cronies were listening to the radio station. I found trash talk and direct miscommunication can be found on a few TV “news” programs along with several radio talk shows. Why listen to commercial free music when the real corrupted news is supposed by the likes of the My Pillow guy. For the cost of a half latte at Starbucks you can get several weekly tribal newspapers to round out your education… not that you need it, but you could use it… I’m just sayin.

  12. RST Tribal Member 2021-04-08 06:42

    Cory, America’s Governor got a taste of the Washington DC buzz and wants back in bigger pants then a lonely House Representative. Look at the other elected people sent to Washington to do our bidding. After a couple terms they are voted out then change residency, getting on the K Street gravy train. I am sure Ms. Noem wants the buzz and believes she is stepping in the “right” direction to get there.
    The framers of the U.S. Constitution tried to minimize the take over by 1 party of the three branches of government. For the most part they succeed, however the gerrymandering by the states is causing situations that could not be conceived in the 1700s coming forward.
    South Dakota is politically unbalanced. The Republican Party of no taxes but give us gov’t handouts is leading the state towards the situation with declining population and functioning illiterates could lead to consolidation, just like school districts and counties, with other states… look at what some in MN are thinking about.
    I have relatives who’s bones are turning to dust in unmarked graves in South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Montana and Wyoming. I cherish the region, not necessarily the states.
    Hopefully America’s Governor is a one and done like her mentor. She could become a Michele or a Sara, in that, she is heard about, but not taken seriously.

  13. mike from iowa 2021-04-08 08:11

    , Noem relies so heavily on outsiders from the Beltway to do her work.

    In order to be the first of your pack to roll on a rotted carcass you must ingratiate yourself with those that really matter. None, of which, can be found in Noirthern Mississippi.

    Always remember and never forget McCTurtlefartface’s decree to rule America through the stacked federal courts, if and when, magats lose total power.

  14. leslie 2021-04-08 08:56

    A rez friend had a little dog named Michelle which I found hilarious but comparing her to Noem or Palin is silly. Bachman wasn’t the reference.

    “inbred governing systems”-as always the racist, grdz speaks. Sure sounds like lobbyist Murphy.

  15. leslie 2021-04-08 09:14

    Mfi: tip’o the hat;

    E.g. SCOTUS vacates 2d Circuit ruling in Trump Twitter case (that Trump violated 1A by blocking people) because it’s moot. Concurring, Justice Thomas says the First Amendment issue is important and ought to be considered in future case” (paging RAGA, KenPaxtonTxAG)

    Or, rather than just grant the Biden Administration’s request to remand the Medicaid work requirement cases to the lower courts in light of the intervening change in policy, SCOTUS notes that the cases are “held in abeyance pending further order of the Court.”

    McConnell’s SCOTUS. Up to no good.

  16. Spike 2021-04-08 09:57

    RST tribal member gets grunges goat when RST talks the truth about the south dakota legislature and governor so he has to lob weak water balloons back at RST. Grunge your mojo is gone, your party is the party of apartheid and us libbies will again clean up a mess made by a Repub administration. I listened to KOYA a fews times and heard some language speakers, wise elders and educated tribal members as well as helpful non-members discussing solutions to the problems on the rez resulting from the establishment of the concentration camps and government sponsored massacres that happened in the 1870’s and 80’s in violation of the government to government treaties the USA signed with the tribes.

  17. grudznick 2021-04-08 10:39

    Mr. Spike, like you I also blame Governor Noem and Senator Nesiba’s minions for the activities that occurred in the 1870s and ’80s. And like you, grudznick is real bitter about it.

  18. Knitter23 2021-04-08 18:44

    New chief of staff named today. Pierre native who will do the best job he can under the circumstances.

  19. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-04-08 18:46

    Good to see she hired in-state. I guess some locals can still put up with her.

  20. DaveFN 2021-04-09 15:26

    Wondering if Noem first takes people under a cloak of loayalty but then realizes they are much more than she can handle (intellectually in Venhuizen’s case) at which time her paranoia gets the best of her. Then it’s time for them to go. I suggest a similar modus operandi with Trump and his revolving door.

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